2014 Annual Butterflies Dragonflies and Damselflies Report

Numbers and species were generally up from the counts undertaken in 2012

(Keith Powrie, an expert in lepidopterology and odonatology, has undertaken regular surveys of Knoll Gardens on behalf of the Foundation since 2009.)


20 species of butterfly were seen during the 2014 season, producing a total count of 596. This compares favourably with the 18 species and the 397 individuals in 2012.

Week 17 saw the highest count of 84. It was not until the summer finally turned warm in 2012 that a peak of 61 was reached during weeks 23 & 25. The best performer, with a count of 105, was the Peacock with an astonishing second brood figure of 90. One bush contained as many as 15 individuals. Next came Brimstone and Speckled Wood with 76 & 66 respectively. The latter figure was amazing as so few were seen from the spring brood.

For the first time, Small Skippers were recorded. They are species of grassland and it is surprising that they have taken so long to put in an appearance. DSC_0024 small skipper

Holly Blues were up on both broods. This could well be as a result of the fine weather and/or the parasitic wasp being in decline, following a drop in their numbers in previous years.

Red Admiral numbers were down on both broods. During the cold, damp winter many of the overwintering adults obviously perished and the summer fliers were not enhanced by migrants from the continent.

The only species not seen this year, that appeared in 2012, were Painted Lady, Small Copper and Grayling.


The most common damselfly was the Azure Damselfly – up from 581 to 620.

Large Red Damselfly numbers were down, however, from 189 to 114, possibly as a result of losing the Lower Falls Pond due to the fallen Eucalyptus tree. The Blue-tailed Damselfly count had been more than halved, from 22 to 10, probably for the same reason. Only the Beautiful Demoiselle put in an appearance with no signs of the Banded Demoiselle.


Hawkers performed extremely well, showing increases in the number of weeks in which they appeared as well as their actual counts. All that is, apart from the Migrant Hawker, which surprisingly did well at other sites.

The once scarce Brown Hawker continued to increase in numbers and a female was observed egg-laying in the Dragon Pond. Consequently this species can now be added to the list of confirmed breeders at Knoll Gardens. Brown Hawker 1

Only one Emperor and one Golden-ringed Dragonfly were seen throughout the season but this was an improvement on 2012 when neither put in an appearance. Broad-bodied Chasers were up by just one but once again, the usually common Four-spotted Chaser failed to appear. Ruddy Darters showed for the same number of weeks as in 2012 but their numbers were down. To make up for this, Common Darters were everywhere for many weeks and even beyond the end of the season.

Previously seen species that did not appear this year included; Downy Emerald; Scarce Chaser and Black-tailed Skimmer.

2014 Garden Bioblitz

We’re delighted over 100 species were counted as part of our Garden Bioblitz in August 2014, in conjunction with Dorset Wildlife Trust.
(Pictured Katie Wilkinson Community Conservation Officer Dorset Wildllife Trust)

The species list from the event is shown below with both Common and Latin Name

Bees and Wasps
Buft tailed Bombus terrestris
Bumble Bee Bombus spp.
Common carder bee Bombus pascuorum
Common Wasp Vespula vulgaris
Cuckoo Bumble Bee Bombus psithyrus
Honey bee Apis mellifera
Hornet Vespa
Leaf cutter bee Megachile centuncularis
Vestal bumblebee Bombus vestalis
Blackbird Turdus merula
Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus
Bull finch Pyrrhula pyrrhula
Buzzard Buteo buteo
Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Collared dove Streptopelia decaocto
Dunnock Prunella modularis
Goldcrest Regulus Regulus
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
Great Tit Parus major
Green finch Carduelis chloris
Jay Garrulus glandarius
Magpie Pica pica
nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus
Nuthatch Sitta
Robin Erithacus rubecula
Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus
Wren Troglodytidae
Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni
Brown argus Aricia agestis
Comma Polygonia c-album
Common Blue Polyommatus icarus
Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus
Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus
Large White Pieris brassicae
Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui
Peacock Inachis io
Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta
Small Tortoise Shell Aglais urticae
Small White Pieris rapae
Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria
Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella
Blue Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans
Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum
Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum
Common Hawker Aeshna juncea
Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa
Emperor Anax imperator
Golden Ringed Cordulegaster boltonii
Ruddy darter Sympetrum sanguineum
Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea
Ant (small black) Lasius niger
Bee fly Bombylius major
Birch shield bug Elasmostethus interstinctus
Carrion beetle Silphidae
Forest bug Pentatoma rufipes
garden spider
Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis
Hawthorn Shieldbug Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale
Horsefly Tabanidae
Hoverfly Syrphidae
Hoverfly Volucella inanis
Leopard Slugs Limax maximus
Red lilly beetle Lilioceris lilii
Soldier beetle Rhagonycha fulva
Tapered drone fly Eristalis pertinax
True flies Diptera
Waterboatman Corixa punctata
Wood louse Oniscus asellus
Bank Vole Myodes glareolus
Common Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus
Natterer Bat Myotis nattereri
Serotine Bat Eptesicus serotinus
Woodmouse Apodemus sylvaticus
Yellow necked fieldmouse Apodemus flavicollis
Barred Grass-veneer Agriphillia inguilotella
Black Arches Lymantria Monacha
Brimstone Ophisthograptis luteolata
Brown pine knot-horn Diorictryia simplicella
Buff Footman Eilema Depresa
Checkered fruit tree fortix  Pandemis corylana
Chestnut tortrix Cydia splendana
Common Rustic Mesapamea secalis
Common Wave Cabera exanthemata
Common White Wave Cabera pusaria
Dingy dowd Blastobasis adustella
Dingy Footman Eilema griseola
Double-striped Knot-horn Cryptoblabes bistriga
Flame shoulder Ochropleura plecta
Hebrew Character Orthosia gothica
Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing Noctua Janthe
Lesser Common Rustic Mesapamea didyma
Lesser Swallow Prominent Pheosia gnoma
Light brown apple moth Epiphyas postvittana
Long-horned Flat-body Carcina quercana
Maidens Blush Cyclophora punctaria
Mint moth Pyrausta aurata
Mother of Pearl Pleuroptya ruralis
Mottled Beauty Alcis repandata repandata
Pearl Veneer Agriphilia stravinella
Pebble Hooktip Drepana falcataria falcataria
Riband Wave Idaea aversata
Ringed china mark Parapoynx stratiotata
Rosy Footman Miltochrista miniata
Rosy Rustic Hydraecia Micacea
Rosy Tabby Endotricha flammealis
Rusty dot pearl Udea ferrugalis
Rusty oak Cydia amplana
Scallop Tip Falcaria Lacertinaria
Scarce Footman Eilema complana
Scorched Carpet Ligdia adustata
September Thorn Ennomos erosaria
Setaceous Hebrew Character Xestia-nigrum
Sharp Angled Peacock Macaria alternata
Shuttle-shaped Dart Agrotis puta puta
Single-dotted wave Idaea dimidiata
Small Angle Shades Euplexis lucipara
Small Fan Footed Wave Idaea biselata
Small Magpie Eurrhypara Hortulata
Spectacle Abrostola tripartita
Straw Dot Rivula Sericealis
Swallow prominent Pheosia tremula
Tawny Barred Angle Macaria liturata
True Lovers knot Lycophotia porphyrea
Uncertain Hoplodrina alsines
Vines rustic Hoplodrina ambigua
Grass Snake Natrix natrix
Newt (nymph) Pleurodelinae